Lucky us. We had decided to stay at the Hotel Murano, named for the famous island of glass artisans near Venice, Italy. Tacoma's identity, you see, is all about glass art since native son Dale Chihuly became famous and built his Museum of Glass in Tacoma. The Hotel Murano took the theme and ran with it.
Even the elevators are beautiful with fused glass panels similar to the one at the front desk.
The hotel is filled with art, mostly glass art, but in the lobby I spotted a screen print by a favorite artist, and another Washington native, Chuck Close.
In a large display case was this intricate piece by Italian artist, Lucio Bubacco.
A closer look shows that it includes figures blowing and forming glass over glass flames. Magical.
In the grand corridor and staircase leading the meeting rooms off the lobby is this installation of three glass "Viking Boats" by Danish artist, Vibeke Skov.
Each floor of the hotel features a different glass artist, with an example of their work and photos of them at work in their studios lining the main hallway. Beautifully presented. We started at the top floor and walked down each hallway, viewing each display. Did we miss the glass museum? Maybe we did, but this was certainly a wonderful art viewing experience. Here is the piece featured on our floor—the first thing you see as you exit the elevator.
Fish Hanger #49, Hiroshi Yamano
Another that I loved. These are Danish, but made me think of the Japanese rice bowls I keep coming back to. So cold and lovely.
Nests, Tobias Mohl
And so much more than I am showing you. We spent hours wandering the hotel, looking at the art.
We walked through the theater district and the old downtown, across the Bridge of Glass and into the shops around the museums. A cold mist rose from the Sound and we headed back to the hotel for a drink and a card game.
Twilight view from our hotel room.
We walked down the street to the beautiful Thai Restaurant that my friends and I dined at last summer, when we were in Tacoma for the APWQ show at the convention center. We justified a sumptuous dinner and extravagant bottle of wine by reminding ourselves of the museum fees we had saved.
The next day, the Solstice dawned, with the sun rising from behind Mt. Rainier, seen out that same window.
The train trip home, along Puget Sound and the Columbia River was frosty and beautiful. We read and napped and arrived home ready to take on Christmas.